What is Pilates?

Peak ReformerPilates is a system of body conditioning that was developed in the early twentieth century by German born Joseph Pilates. Joseph suffered from multiple childhood ailments which left him with a weakened constitution in his younger years. This drove Pilates to devote the rest of his life to the study of human movement and self healing through mind body controlled exercise.

This system of exercise was originally developed when Joseph was an intern in the First World War. Using springs from the mattresses in the hospital beds, Joseph created a pulley system to help to rehabilitate veterans from the war. This is how apparatus Pilates was born.

It’s important to note that there are two methods of practicing Pilates: Mat and Apparatus. Mat Pilates is comprised of a series of core focused exercises done on a mat, usually in a group setting. Apparatus Pilates is a system of exercises done on various pieces of equipment – the most widely used being the Reformer.

Pilates was later picked up by the dance community in New York and is now widely used by various health practitioners, athletes and those who are interested in vitality and longevity, all around the world.

Pilates is based on 6 basic core principles:

  • Concentration – Being conscious and present from within your entire body in all movement at all times.
  • Control – Using your mind to control your muscles.
  • Centering – Fostering an awareness of your body from the inside out.
  • Flow of Movement – Energy flow is consistent throughout the movements – where there is no beginning and no end.
  • Precision- Attention to every subtle detail – this is essential in healing faulty movement patterns.
  • Breathing – The key principle of Pilates – Optimal breathing development will greatly influence the result of your Pilates practice.